Schoolchildren, a community choir and its audiences, an archives group dedicated to charting the history of a Norfolk town and a group working towards updating play equipment were among those to benefit from the latest handouts from the Worstead Festival charity.
The charity has a long history of helping groups and organisations both in its villages and in neighbouring parishes.
Thanks to the small and dedicated group of volunteers who organise the July event, this year the organisation handed out grants totaling £16,000-plus at its annual meeting on December 7 at Worstead Village Hall.
The festival made a profit of around £20,000 this year, helped by good weather and 15,000-plus visitors.
Those to benefit were Worstead Primary School, The Choir Worstead, North Walsham Archives group, North Walsham Play, Worstead Guild of Weavers (for toilets at their HQ) and Scottow Church (for church heaters). Money left over will remain in the funding pot.
Chairman Simon Cole said: “The effort that goes into the festival over the course of the entire year is all worthwhile when we get to give these grants to groups who are doing so much good for their communities.
“The 2016 festival was a particularly good one, with some new ideas working well and our visitors responding very positively to the whole event.
“Plans for 2017 are well in train and we look forward to welcoming both regulars and those who have not come to see the festival before.”
Matthew Smith, from North Walsham Play, which received £2,500, said: “The very generous donation has enabled us to start putting plans together to bring about the new play park in the new year. The donation means a lot of all members of the committee and we would all like to personally thank everyone involved with organising such a well-loved and well-supported festival.”
Wayne Beauchamp, from North Walsham Archives echoed that sentiment, saying: “Thanks to the awesome Worstead Festival committee for donating £500 to our group, The North Walsham and District Community Archive, to help with our work archiving the area’s history. This will help enormously. We plan to buy storage equipment for keeping our massive collection of photos and documents safely stored, both digitally and physically, and also a new portable scanner to aid in digitising photos ‘on location’.”
The annual meeting included the election of directors for the year, with six standing again and one new member joining.
Next year’s event will be held over the weekend of July 29 and 30. Grant applications open in March and close at the end of September for the amounts to be agreed in time for the 2017 AGM at the beginning of December.
See more at www.worsteadfestival.org, check out the festival’s Facebook pages and follow @worsteadfest on Twitter.
PICTURE CAPTION: Worstead Festival chairman Simon Cole (left) with representatives of organisations who were awarded grants (from left) Helen Kelly (Choir Worstead). Matthew Smith (North Walsham Play), Jo Read (Worstead School), Ellie Beattie (Worstead Guild of Weavers) and Wayne Beauchamp (North Walsham and District Archives).